Sunday, 7 March 2010

Consumermate - The Ultimate Buying Destination for Mobiles, Digital Cameras and Laptops

Do you have a passion for photography? Are you worried of what camera you have to buy? Are you looking forward to buy a good digital camera that offers great features at a resonably fair price? Do you want to know about the latest deals and offers around? If so, I recommend you to login to this site, a 9.9 Media initiative, where you can browse over a huge collection of cameras and choose the one that you feel is affordable and pleasing.

If you are looking for buying a higher-end digital camera, you can choose the SLR Digital Cameras, that, unlike the normal digital cameras, they have more advanced features like Live Preview, Optical Image Stabilization etc. Nikon has some of the best SLR cameras and ConsumerMate has compiled and categorized all of these based on their features. Just search ConsumerMate for SLR Nikon and you will get a whole lot of Digital Cameras come popping up. The Digital Cameras section not only offers banking options, hot deals and discounts etc., but it also helps prospective buyers zero in on a particular model that is best suited for them. You can find expert reviews for each product and they are provided by the Digit Test Center, India's No.1 Research Lab.

Apart from the Digital Cameras section, also has Mobile Phones section where users can check all latest mobile phones price and their features. An LCD TV section and a Laptop section are also available that helps user in buying their respective products. So friends, I am pretty sure that you wouldn't have any difficulty in buying your gadget as ConsumerMate will become your ultimate buying destination for Mobiles, Digital Cameras and Laptops. Comments about your experiences with the site are always welcome! Good luck Readers!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Testing time for UID project

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the ambitious project that aims to give every citizen an identification card, is about to launch a series of tests to demonstrate its feasibility as a precursor to the actual rollout later this year.

The project, which received an outlay of Rs 1,900 crore in the budget, will kick off the so-called proof of concept projects in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka this month. The tests will parse different aspects of technology including biometric systems, security, data centre linkages and servers and address key issues such as duplication and fraud. At least 60,000 people in these states will be covered by the tests before they lead to a prototype sometime in July.

UIDAI, headed by tech czar Nandan Nilekani, had a budget of Rs 120 crore for this fiscal. But keeping in mind the greater costs involved in the rollout, the finance minister has spiked its budget by over 15 times for the next fiscal. The money will be used to set up registrars, enrollment costs, servers, data centres, a central data repository in Delhi, a data backup in Bangalore, regional offices and for other related activities.

UIDAI aims to provide a unique 16-digit number ID card to at least 600 million residents over the next five years starting from August.

The agency, whose regional offices in Bangalore and Hyderabad are already functional, will set up six more in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Gauwhati and Ranchi. These developments come in the midst of the agency’s expansionary moves. UIDAI will add 11 experts from the industry for functions spanning HR, knowledge management, process and operations soon.

The experts will be part of the core project management team comprising chief architect Pramod Varma, technology head Srikant Nadhmuni and Shankar Maruwada who leads UIDAI’s demand generation and marketing activities. With the new hires, UIDAI’s total workforce will increase to 30, or 10% of the planned 300 employees it will eventually have.

UIDAI also roped in Ernst & Young (E&Y ) as consultant last week. E&Y will help in formulating a business strategy and revenue model for the project. “With E&Y’s appointment, the project will now move faster towards meeting the August 2010-February 2011 commitment for issuing the first set of numbers,” said a person familiar with the development who requested anonymity.

E&Y will give a road map for the Central ID Data Repository (CIDR), select a managed service provider and help in related activities.

Telcos oppose 11-digit numbers

All mobile firms, with the exception of Reliance Communications and the Tata Teleservices, have asked telecom regulator Trai to continue with the existing system of 10-digit mobile number format and have opposed the proposal to move towards 11-digit mobile numbers.

Responding to the Trai’s consultation process on this issue, most mobile firms have suggested that digits between ‘2’ and ‘9’ be opened up for mobile telephony so that the current 10-digit format be retained as against the current policy where levels ‘9’ and sublevels of ‘8’ and ‘7’ are only used for mobile numbers.

Over 90% of the mobile numbers begin with ‘9’ as this level has been completely opened up for mobile telephony. Off late, the Department of Telecom has also opened up sublevels in ‘8’ and ‘7’ for mobile telephony, which has resulted in cellular phone numbers beginning with this digit.

Most operators have taken the stance that currently many levels -- 2 , 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 -- were reserved for fixed line services and these levels are highly underutilised . “For the past few years there has been a constant decline in the number of fixed line subscribers in India.

In such a case, it is unfair to keep six billion numbers reserved for fixed line subscribers, whereas the actual number is even below 40 million. This is a clear wastage of the precious numbering resource,” the Cellular Operators Association of India, the body representing all GSM operators said.

“Considering the relative size of the subscriber bases in the mobile and fixed sectors and the exponential growth of mobile subscriptions, it is worthwhile to free up the fixed line numbering resources and re-allocate some levels to mobile services.

In view of this, we believe that there should be reorganisation of existing fixed line numbering scheme to get at least 3 levels vacated from the existing levels and allocated for mobile services. This would give provisioning for many more millions of subscribers within the existing ‘10’ digit numbering scheme, which would be in consumer interest,” the COAI added.

Freeing up one level will provide about a billion new mobile numbers. On the other hand, Reliance Communications and Tatas are of the view that while the 10-digit numbers can be used for the next three years, for long term, from 1st April, 2013, the country must move ‘towards the implementation of 11 digit numbering scheme so as to address the exponential growth needs of the sector and the unforeseen requirement resulting out of future technologies and services’.

Both these telcos have also pointed out that since fixed line services are in continuous decline mode, it would be not be appropriate to change the numbers of customers.

Monday, 1 March 2010

How to decline Facebook request

A colleague I just met at work has invited me to be their friend on Facebook. I don't want to offend them, but nor do I want to share my candid photos and lousy Scrabble scores with someone I hardly know. Can I ignore their invite?

"Can I be your friend?" might work as an ice-breaker among small children, but it's not a question you hear often between adults, at least not outside of Las Vegas.

Friendship, it is generally understood, is a relationship that evolves through shared interests, common experiences and a primeval need to share your neighbor's power tools.

Yet for many people, Facebook permits a return to the simplicity of the schoolyard.

Rather than inviting someone to be our Facebook friend only after we've become friends in the real world, many of us are using Facebook as a short-cut around all that time-consuming relationship building.

Why bother asking someone you've just met questions about their family, interests and ability to run a farm or aquarium, when you can simply send them a friend request and read the answers in your Facebook news feed? And so we think little of receiving friend requests after we meet someone for the first time at, say, a dinner party.

If you like the person, perhaps because they brought an excellent bottle of wine to the party, then you can accept the request in the hope of further opportunities to sample the contents of their cellar.

If you didn't get to taste the wine because they accidentally spilled the bottle over your brand new party dress, then etiquette experts would probably agree that you can decline the friend request, send them a dry-cleaning bill and humiliate them in a derisory posting to your real Facebook friends.

In the workplace, however, the dynamic is very different. The consequences of offending someone by ignoring their friend request are greater with a colleague you see every day than with a careless dining companion you may never meet again.

So why are people you work with increasingly offering to share their Facebook output?

Joan Morris DiMicco, an IBM researcher who studies social software in the workplace, said it's partly because some people just don't anticipate the ramifications of sharing their personal life with colleagues.

But it's also a function of the Facebook interface, which recommends other people for you to friend.

"Once you've connected to one person you work with you get recommendations to connect to others that you work with," she said.

Of course, many people don't have a problem with being Facebook friends with colleagues, especially those they know well. But for those who would rather keep their work and private lives separate, there are options other than ignoring an unwanted friend request.

One is to accept the invitation and then use Facebook's privacy settings to limit the flow of information between you and your new "friend". To do this, you can create a "colleagues" list from the Friends menu and then add to it your new friend. Then navigate to the privacy settings and use the "Profile Information" section to control what information people on the "colleagues" list can see.

An alternative, says workplace etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, is to suggest to the colleague that you connect instead on LinkedIn, a social network for professional relationships.

"You can just go ahead and ask them to join you on LinkedIn and hope they forget they sent you a Facebook friend request," said Pachter, the author of New Rules @ Work.

"Or you can say, Thanks for asking me. I'm keeping Facebook for my family and friends. I'm asking you to join me on my professional network instead.'"

Pachter said that whatever you do, it's important not to offend your colleague -- and that's not just because politeness is good etiquette. "The person you offend might end up being your boss next year," she said.